|★阿修羅♪ > 狂牛病・遺伝子組み換え・鳥インフルエンザ12 > 407.html ★阿修羅♪|
Bird Flu May Arrive in U.S. This Year
By LIBBY QUAID, AP Food and Farm Writer
Monday, March 20, 2006
(03-20) 18:14 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --
Bird flu is likely to arrive this year in the United States, with the increased testing of tens of thousands of wild birds expected to reveal dozens of suspected cases, the Bush administration said Monday.
Officials will test 75,000 to 100,000 wild birds this year, or nearly six times the number screened since 1998, according to a government plan finalized Monday. The government also plans to quarantine and destroy any poultry flocks where the virus appears.
The wild bird testing could reveal 20 to 100 suspected cases of bird flu, although follow-up testing is likely to reveal "dozens" are false alarms, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said. The emphasis will be on Alaska and other spots along the Pacific flyway, a common route that migratory birds follow into the U.S., possibly carrying the virus as they do. Tests will also be run on 50,000 water and bird dropping samples from waterfowl habitats, the government said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt stressed that people are not yet at risk from the virus, which has ravaged wild and domestic birds alike in Asia, Africa and Europe.
"At this point, if you're a bird, it's a pandemic. If you're a human, it's not a pandemic," Leavitt said.
Norton cautioned that while officials plan to announce any positive tests for bird flu, it will take another five to 10 days for the Agriculture Department's laboratory in Ames, Iowa, to confirm the results.
"This is a disease of birds and not humans, at this point. Finding a bird with the disease does not signal a pandemic," Norton said.
Human cases of bird flu have been rare, but scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form easily spread among people, sparking a worldwide epidemic. For now, wild birds are getting much of the government's attention.
Officials also worry the virus might spread from wild birds to the nearly 10 billion chickens raised each year in the U.S. Authorities say cooking kills the virus and it is safe to eat properly handled and cooked poultry.
Commercial poultry companies already test every flock for bird flu. If the deadly virus shows up in a commercial bird, the entire flock would be quarantined and killed, and the area would be disinfected. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said the government would compensate farmers for their destroyed flocks.
Unlike in many of the countries affected by bird flu, the U.S. has a highly consolidated, $29 billion poultry industry that raises the majority of its birds in controlled, indoor facilities. That minimizes contact between wild and domestic birds.
"Our producers are as eager as we are to protect the safety of our poultry," Johanns said.
While the deadly strain of the virus has not yet been found in the U.S., other strains have. Birds, like humans, have a flu season. Less virulent "low-pathogenic" flu viruses are common. But three times — in 1924, 1983 and 2004 — a lethal, "highly pathogenic" strain has emerged in the U.S.
Also Monday, the government banned veterinarians from using human antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, to treat animals. The goal is to ensure the drugs remain effective in people. A spokesman for the National Chicken Council said the industry does not use the drugs.
▲このページのＴＯＰへ HOME > 狂牛病・遺伝子組み換え・鳥インフルエンザ12掲示板